On August 23rd, 2007 — the very day Packouz was supposed to sign the settlement papers with Diveroli — federal agents raided AEY’s offices in Miami Beach. He started coming in late and knocking off early. After six years of fighting, Al Qaeda remained a menace, the Taliban were resurgent, and NATO casualties were rising sharply. War Dogs (2016) Plot. He immediately called Packouz, who was driving along the interstate. He was stressed out, working around the clock, negotiating multimillion-dollar purchases and arranging for transportation. Bidding on defense contracts is a speculative business — laborious, time-consuming, with no prize for second place. He would do anything to make money.”, To master the art of federal contracts, Packouz studied the solicitations posted on fbo.gov. Afghanistan, guns, Iraq. Watch the trailer for ‘War Dogs,’ starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. It needed proxies to do its dirty work — companies like AEY. The pair met at Diveroli’s apartment to smoke a joint and discuss strategy. The military officials receiving the ammo in Kabul had to know it was Chinese: Every round is stamped with the place of manufacture, as any soldier knows. “I took acid by the Dead Sea,” Packouz says. We were so stupid. Like all the kids in their pot-smoking circle, Packouz was aware that Diveroli had become an arms dealer. The ammunition itself, though decades old, seemed to be in working order, but the rounds were stored in rusty cans and stacked on rotting wooden pallets — not the protocol normally used for such dangerous materiel. After all, it wasn’t like the military was buying weapons and helmets for American soldiers. It was an educated guess, one he prayed wouldn’t be undercut by the big defense contractors. After stopping to refuel there, the flight would carry on to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The Mormon gun manufacturer from Utah, Ralph Merrill, pleaded not guilty and was convicted in December. ‘All the bullets are coming from us.’ It was heaven. He would take them on and win, and then give them the finger. We want to hear from you! “Efraim was conflicted about whether to put a nine percent or 10 percent profit margin on top of our prices,” Packouz recalls. All the partying wasn’t exactly conducive to running a small business, especially one as complicated and perilous as arms dealing. Exclusive Interview: ‘Toy Story 4’ Director Josh Cooley on a Toy’s Worldview, Defining Friendship and the Challenges of Change, Watch Exclusive 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' Featurette: The G-Team, 'Spider-Man: Far from Home' Tops Moviegoers' Most Anticipated Summer Blockbuster, when you purchase a new Edible Arrangements movie-themed Edible Box. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. It was the family business. The government website where contracts are posted is fbo.gov, known as “FedBizOpps.” Diveroli soon became adept at the arcane lingo of federal contracts. Bidding on contracts on fbo.gov was an art; closing a deal was a science. “I knew once they saw them we were in trouble. The hapless end-users were foreigners, and who was going to go the extra mile for them? Both endearing and educational, this book is not to be missed by animal lovers, history buffs, and everyone in between! Finally, at the last possible moment, Diveroli went for nine percent. At one point, he spent weeks obsessing over an $8 million contract to supply SUVs to the State Department in Pakistan, only to lose the bid. State Department has blacklist us. It was wild. With a shaved head and intense blue eyes, Packouz was plenty smart and plenty ambitious, in his slacker fashion, but he had no idea what to do with his life. A 747 cargo plane had just lifted off from an airport in Hungary and was banking over the Black Sea toward Kyrgyzstan, some 3,000 miles to the east. Diveroli refused, but he couldn’t resist bragging about his exploits; as agents recorded his every word, he talked about hunting alligators and hogs in the Everglades with a .50-caliber rifle. The company and Diveroli had both been placed on the State Department “watch list” for importing illegal firearms. SEE DETAILS, when you spend $25 on participating products. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. For once, at least, taxpayers were getting a good deal on a defense contract. Worst of all, Podrizki noticed that the steel containers holding the ammunition — known as “sardine cans” — were covered in Chinese markings. The e-mail confirmed it: everything was finally back on schedule after weeks of maddening, inexplicable delay. She didn’t approve of their drug use, and she talked openly about them on the phone, as if they weren’t present. Millions of dollars were being transferred via wire from the Pentagon into AEY’s accounts, and the $300 million contract was moving along smoothly. Faced with overwhelming evidence, all pleaded guilty. Dogs have played an important role in the United States military since the early … Showing all 5 items Jump to: Summaries (4) Synopsis (1) Summaries. The Army wanted to buy a dizzying array of weapons — ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles and SVD Dragunov sniper rifles, GP 30 grenades, 82 mm Russian mortars, S-KO aviation rockets. Packouz was baffled, stoned and way out of his league. For decades, weapons had been stockpiled in warehouses throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe for the threat of war against the West, but now arms dealers were selling them off to the highest bidder. Packouz was going to be rich. I don’t understand your government. Diveroli had also shown auditors his personal bank balance, by then $5.4 million. He figured everyone else was going to take 10 percent, but what if another bidder had the same idea as him and put in nine percent? Packouz and Diveroli had picked the perfect moment to get into the arms business. At the same time, Heinrich Thomet sourced a massive amount of ammunition through his Albanian connections. What Trebicka had failed to grasp was that Thomet was paying a kickback to the Albanians from the large margin he was making on the deal. I thought we actually had a chance. He told me I was going to be a millionaire within three years — he guaranteed it.”, At first, Packouz struggled to land his own deals. Normally, a small-time outfit like AEY wouldn’t have a shot at such a major defense contract. “I have good news and bad news,” Diveroli said. “It’s enormous — far, far bigger than anything we’ve done before. His title was account executive. “It was bizarre,” he says. Reading the e-mail back in Miami Beach, David Packouz breathed a sigh of relief. All the notoriety in my industry and all the good times — and there were some — cannot make up for the damage.”. Let’s get him happy. Yet the story behind War Dogs might be the most interesting of all. A week later, Podrizki called to ask if Trebicka could hire enough men to repack 100 million rounds of ammunition by taking them out of metal sardine cans and placing them in cardboard boxes. “He was one of the best middlemen in the business, a real-life Lord of War.”. Third, the only requirement in the contract was that the ammunition be “serviceable without qualification.” As Diveroli and Packouz interpreted it, that meant the Pentagon didn’t care if they supplied “shit ammo,” as long as it “went bang and went out of the barrel.”, For the two friends, it was a chance to enter a world usually reserved for multinational defense contractors with armies of well-connected lobbyists. The money was only available for two years, so it had to be spent quickly. This is very not fair. Dinner was at Sushi Samba, a hipster Asian-Latino fusion joint. According to a report by Amnesty International, “Tens of millions of rounds of ammunition from the Balkans were reportedly shipped — clandestinely and without public oversight — to Iraq by a chain of private brokers and transport contractors under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense.”. War Dogs Main article: War Dogs (2016 film) The story of Diveroli's arms deals is the subject of the Todd Phillips comedy/drama film War Dogs, starring Jonah Hill as Diveroli and Miles Teller as his partner, David Packouz., which was based on the reporting done … Supplying the contract would mean buying up hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ammunition for the kind of Eastern Bloc weapons that the Afghans used. “You’ll lose your entire profit margin.”. But when Trebicka met with the Albanian defense minister, his intervention had the opposite effect: The Albanians cut him out of the deal, informing AEY that the repackaging job would be completed instead by a friend of the prime minister’s son. Brave Soldier Dog of The 102 nd Infantry. One of the illegal shipments of ammo they supplied to the Afghan army (bottom) Send one of your girls to fuck him. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship. With things up in the air in Albania, Packouz was starting to feel the pressure. But after the article appeared, he and Podrizki and Diveroli were indicted on 71 counts of fraud. After school, the pair would hang out at the beach with their friends, smoking weed, playing guitar, sneaking in to swim in the pools at five-star hotels. But Diveroli and Packouz had three advantages. As AEY grew, it defaulted on at least seven contracts, in one case failing to deliver a shipment of 10,000 Beretta pistols for the Iraqi army. Unfortunately, the military later took back the medals, claiming that Chips was only equipment … Based on the Rolling Stone article "Arms and the Dudes" by Guy Lawson, it follows twentysomething gunrunners David Packouz … With Thomet on their side, Diveroli and Packouz soon got the break they were looking for. Some differences are simple: Jonah Hill and Miles Teller look nothing like the teenagers they’re playing. No matter what happened, he told the agent moments before his arrest, he would never leave the arms business. When Lettich served in Vietnam, most of the war dogs … Podrizki called Packouz in Miami. In January, dressed in a tan prison-issued jumper, Diveroli came before Judge Joan Lenard for sentencing at Miami’s gleaming new federal courthouse. “When we let go with our machine guns, all the other shooters would stop and look at us like, ‘What the fuck was that?’ Everyone else had pistols going pop pop. Tell them that if they fuck with us, they are fucking with the government of the United States of America!”. After their celebratory dinner the night they received the contract, the two friends headed for Diveroli’s brand-new Audi. There were all these shadowy forces, and I didn’t know what their motives were. It turned out to be a great place to get high. “Let me talk to my people,” the Russian said, taking one of Packouz’s newly printed business cards. “You buy, you buy.” When he managed to make himself understood, he told the manufacturers that the ammunition had to “work.” It also had to “look good,” and not be in rusty boxes or exposed to the elements. It was convenient for both — their drug dealer, Raoul, lived in the complex. If the person who answered didn’t speak English, he would say “English! The money coming in from the Army went directly to AEY. But the shipments were routinely approved, and there were no complaints from the Afghans about the quality of the rounds. In private conversations, the Army’s contracting officers let AEY know that its bid was at least $50 million less than its nearest rival. He had used his contacts in Albania to get Diveroli a good price on Chinese-made ammunition for U.S. Special Forces training in Germany — a deal that was technically illegal, given the U.S. embargo against Chinese arms imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. He scribbled a number on the form: $298,000,000. On July 28th, 2006, the Army Sustainment Command in Rock Island, Illinois, posted a 44-page document titled “A Solicitation for Nonstandard Ammunition.” It looked like any other government form on fbo.gov, with blank spaces for names and telephone numbers and hundreds of squares to be filled in. The meeting with Army officials proved to be a formality. The deals were tiny, relatively speaking, but they gave AEY a history of “past performance” — the kind of track record the Pentagon requires of companies that want to bid on large defense contracts. He wrote angsty rock ballads with titles like “Eternal Moment” — but it was hard to get a break in the music industry. “This is confidential information,” Diveroli said. We felt like we were on top of the world.”, In the evenings, Packouz and Diveroli would get high and go to the American Range and Gun Shop — the only range near Miami that would let them fire off the Uzis and MP5s that Diveroli was licensed to own. Maybe we can play on his fears. One day, Diveroli finally made his move. To cope with the increased business, AEY leased space in a larger and more expensive office building in Miami Beach. In Abu Dhabi, Packouz hoped to find a single supplier big enough to meet most of AEY’s demands. Now New Changes Could Destroy Sex Workers’ Livelihoods, This Surprise Amazon Deal Gets You a 50-Inch 4K TV For Just $279, The Dukes of Oxy: How a Band of Teen Wrestlers Built a Smuggling Empire. “ANY age ammunition is acceptable.”. The company hired an office manager and two young secretaries they found on Craigslist. I was following in his footsteps. But it’s right up our alley.”. Packouz’s heart sank. Diveroli was rich. Diveroli, who owed him commission but had yet to cut a check to his partner, started to argue with him about his hours. The extraordinary, touching true story of Smoky, the smallest--and arguably bravest--dog of World War II In February 1944, as Japanese military advances threatened to overwhelm New Guinea, a tiny, four-pound Yorkshire Terrier was discovered hiding in the island's thick jungles. The dizzying rise and devastating fall of Diveroli and Packouz was initially recounted in, Jonah Hill would later explain that he tried to buy the rights to Lawson’s original article soon after it was published, only to learn that Phillips had beaten him to the punch. The Pentagon needed access to this new aftermarket to arm the militias it was creating in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was only one snag: When Diveroli bid on the contract, he had miscalculated the cost of shipping, failing to anticipate the rising cost of fuel. It was undeniable. “Call him up. As the balloon inflated with vapors from the high-grade weed, he took a deep toke and felt the pressures of the day drift away into a crisp, clean high. 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